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What winter? It’s golfin’ time in Durango

It’s time to put behind us the would-be winter, the no-show, sub-zero temperatures and the easier-than-anticipated winter-driving conditions.

What drives us now is a connection between a dimpled ball and an oversized metallic wood as our shot sails straight down the fairway. Yes, it is golf season again, and it’s in full bloom judging by the early season turnout on the area links; this season promises to be a good one.

Our area courses seemed to come out of the winter in very good shape, and the posted tournament schedules give us reason, and no excuses, to get out and rev up those competitive juices.

For yours truly, it is reason to celebrate, not only because this is my fourth decade of area golf coverage on the Clubhouse Porch but also to actually pick up a set of clubs after a series of medical pitfalls in the last 12 months.

Dalton Ranch Golf Club

And so we begin with Dalton Ranch Golf Club’s season opener: the Hopin’ We’re Open tournament April 14.

1. Roger Hayes and Brad Caskey, 59.4.

2. Dave Ganevsky and Mark Hill, 62.3.

3. John Mower and Dave Lafferty, 63.1

4. Andy Roach and Jaime Heirtzler, 64.2.

5. John Thrasher and Neil Johnson, 64.4.

6. Tom Gorton and Jim Hollingsworth, 64.7.

7. Russ Smith and John Folk, 65.2.

8. Jim Foltz and Matt Mohi, 65.3.

Looking down the road, the first official Ladies Day and Spring Meeting at DRGC is May 16, and the Spring Four Ball will be contested May 19-20.

Hillcrest Golf Club

There are 18 main tournaments on the 2012 Hillcrest Golf Club calendar, and the first event – the Oxford Asset Management A-B-C-D Blind Draw Scramble – was played April 21.

T1. Charlie Laudermilk, Ken Wolke, Glen Murray and Michele Peterson.

T1. Clark Riedberger, Richard White, Bill Hendrix and Dave Stroud.

T3. Lucas Laudick, Jim Rodefer, John Ball and Jim Casey.

T3. Justin Lyons, Bret Jameson, David Peterson and Kevin Devine.

T3. Steve Pease, Jim Cross, Scot McDonald and Jack Duran.

T3. Andy Harris, Louis Steele, Jo Warfield and Tim Sparks.

Four other teams tied for seventh place and won prizes at the A-B-C-D.

With the new season, Durango’s golfing community welcomed the newest member of the PGA pro staff at Hillcrest as Ted Hopkins joins an already solid base of golf instructors.

There still are amateur spots open for the 2012 Coca-Cola of Durango Navajo Trail Open. Proceeds will go to the Hillcrest Junior Golf Foundation. Call Hillcrest at 247-1499 for sign-up information.

The Hillcrest Women’s Golf Association Open Night dinner will be held May 7. The cost of the dinner is $9, and 2012 membership dues to the HWGA are just $35. Reservations for the opening night dinner must be submitted to the Hillcrest Pro Shop no later than May 4.

Bring a friend and introduce them to the game of golf; this would be a good year to start.

Dave Bray has been covering the local golf scene for 31 years. He can be reached at dbray3751@gmail.com.